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Board Readiness Assessment Results - Ready to Serve
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You are well qualified and ready to serve on a board – it’s time to be strategic, network, raise your visibility, and locate that opportunity!

 > Click here to download a printable copy of this result. < 

 

At least on “paper,” you are very well-qualified to serve on a board.  You took this assessment because you are either interested in taking your search in a different direction (maybe the boards you serve on are not what you had in mind), or maybe for whatever reason boards have yet to discover what an incredible find you are. Your focus should be on packaging yourself and getting to know as many people as possible.

 

Ask yourself the following questions:

 

Why would boards want you in the room?

Every person who completes this assessment – whether they are a new college graduate or a public board member – should ask themselves this question. What sets you apart? Why do boards want you in the room?  Are you being 100% honest with yourself about your strengths and limitations?  If you are on boards, spend time talking to those who serve on boards with you now, and considering your evaluations.  Think back to why they invited you to join – something you probably understand much better now than you did at the time.  Are you filling that need?  Are there other needs you’re filling that you didn’t realize you could?  If you are not on a board, it’s important to find peers – colleagues, friends – who can help remind you of what you’re best at.  It’s important to never lose sight of your value proposition and to remember that you do best at that which you enjoy the most.

 

Are you as visible as you should be?  Are you TOO visible?

You’re certainly well known in your industry, but this is always an area where people can spend more time focusing.  Think about what you can do to increase your visibility, whether it is accepting additional opportunities to speak at conferences, authoring more pieces, going to more networking events, or even leading charitable causes.  On the flip side of that, are you too visible?  Are you on so many non-profit boards or lead so many activities that you look overtaxed?   Are all of the speaking engagements you do on behalf of quality organizations – or are you coming across as an activist or ideologue?

 

Be sure you’re well-versed in boardroom trends.

Consider attending programs like NACD’s Director Professionalism Series that can help you gain an awareness of key governance issues and trends.

 

Develop strong relationships with private equity and growth equity partners.

The leaders who run PE and GE firms are important people for you to know.  They are the ones positioned to help select independent board members.  If you are still employed and planning retirement, consider if you should start developing these relationships NOW so they are in place for later. 

 

Develop a networking plan and look to the future.

In particular, if you are planning to retire soon and serve on boards, think about who you can help NOW – while you still have influence and a role at your organization.  To network authentically, you must establish connections and create those relationships before you need them.  Think about some of your relationships: are they mutually beneficial or are you gaining more than they do?   Regardless, create a networking plan for yourself and hold yourself to it.  Be patient. This process takes time.

 

Do you have opportunities to share?

You might be in the position where you are invited to join some boards and choose to say no.  This is a great time to pass the opportunity along, either to a colleague or to WBL. There is probably a WBL member who would love to be considered, and you never know how the favor will be returned!   Don't forget to be patient- this can take up to 5 years even if you are very qualified!

 

How can WBL be a resource?

  1. Get advice on key components of board candidacy including your elevator pitch, positioning yourself, visibility, and more by attending WBL programs (including webinars). We host a few programs every year that focus on board-related content.
  2. Connect with WBL members who serve on boards (and could share opportunities) by using the Member Directory to locate and contact them.
  3. Increase your visibility by sharing your career achievements with WBL through our “Here’s to Us!” notice (when you get promoted, a new board seat, publish an article, or have other notable milestones, let WBL know!
  4. Grow your relationships with WBL members so that you are top of mind when their own organizations have board opportunities – when you travel, never have dinner alone!
  5. When you identify boards and companies of interest, use WBL connections to figure out how to get their attention.
  6. Apply to board (and job, if you’re still looking to get a C-Suite title in your bio) postings on the WBL Forums.
  7. Read Answering the Call, WBL’s book about the duties, risks, and rewards of corporate governance.

 

Good luck!


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This tool is in beta! Please share any feedback with WBL by emailing Eleanor at erosiak@wbl.org. To receive more personalized advice, we recommend you register for a WBL board-related program if you have not already done so.  

 

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